An Israeli-operated oil tanker has been attacked off the coast of Oman.
The M/T Mercer Avenue, a Japanese-owned ship managed by an Israeli-owned firm, was focused late Thursday close to the island of Masirah within the Arabian Sea.
Working agency Zodiac Maritime – a part of Israeli billionaire Eyal Ofer’s Zodiac Group – confirmed the assault on Twitter, which was additionally confirmed by the UK’s Ministry of Defence as a result of a part of the agency relies in Britain.
It comes amid a shadow battle being waged between Israel and Iran which has seen frequent assaults on vessels across the Arabian peninsula within the final three years.
Israeli-operated tanker Mercer Avenue was attacked north east of the island of Masirah, close to the coast of Oman, late on Thursday night time
Particulars in regards to the assault are nonetheless sparse, and what little info has been launched seems contradictory.
The UK Maritime Commerce Operations, a department of the Royal Navy, stated the assault occurred Thursday night time and didn’t contain piracy.
Nevertheless, a press release put out by Zodiac stated the corporate is investigating ‘a suspected piracy incident’ on board the vessel.
The corporate stated the tanker was travelling from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania’s largest port, to Fujairah within the UAE with no cargo on board when the assault occurred.
‘We are going to present further info because it turns into obtainable,’ the assertion stated.
Israeli officers didn’t instantly acknowledge the incident, and neither did Iranian state-owned media.
But it surely comes amid heightened tensions between Israel and Iran as negotiations stay stalled over Tehran’s nuclear take care of world powers.
Tankers linked to Israel and different US allies have been focused by assaults across the Arabian peninsula courting again to 2019.
In Could that 12 months, a collection of explosions and fires on oil tankers linked each Iran and Saudi Arabia across the Arabian Peninsula introduced the 2 sides near battle.
The blasts started in when 4 tankers – two Saudi-flagged, one Norwegian-flagged and one Emirati-flagged – have been broken close to the coast of UAE.
Then in June, the Entrance Altair and Kokuka Brave have been broken in what was initially reported as a fireplace on the latter vessel.
American intelligence businesses backed by the UK and Saudi Arabia later accused Iran of attaching limpet mines to the facet of the tankers, blowing holes within the hull which sparked the blaze.
Mercer Avenue is operated by Zodiac Maritime, a part of Israeli billionaire Eyal Ofer’s Zodiac Group. The agency stated it was crusing from Tanzania to the UAE with no cargo when it was hit
That was adopted by drone and missile assaults on Saudi Arabia’s largest oil processing facility at Abqaiq which it blamed on Iran.
In October, Iran then reported that one among its oil tankers had been hit by two missiles within the Purple Sea, on the opposite facet of the Arabian Peninsula, in what it stated was a ‘terrorist assault.’
Then, the observe 12 months, Iran was hit by a collection of main fires that broke out on land – sparking rumours of sabotage operations.
Israeli ships have been focused in current months, with the MV Helios Ray – a automotive provider – hit by an explosion in February that Israel blamed on Tehran.
In March, an Israeli-owned cargo ship was additionally hit by rockets which Tel Aviv once more stated had come from Iran.
Two extra assaults in April and May additionally focused Israeli-owned vessels round Oman and within the northern Indian ocean.
Earlier on Thursday, the British army group had stated it was investigating one other unexplained incident in the identical space, but it surely didn’t elaborate.
Later Friday, the British Protection Ministry recognized the nationality of the ship’s house owners, however didn’t elaborate additional.
Oman didn’t instantly acknowledge an assault and officers there didn’t reply to requests for remark.
The U.S. Navy’s fifth Fleet, which patrols the Mideast, didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.
The incident comes amid heightened tensions over Iran’s tattered nuclear deal and as negotiations over restoring the accord have stalled in Vienna.
Since then-President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew America from the accord in 2018, there have been a collection of ship assaults within the area suspected to have been carried out by Tehran.